5 Factors When Choosing a Fine European Piano

There are many factors to consider when choosing a Fine European Piano.  I am going to point to 5 things you should consider that will have an overall bearing on your future with your new piano.

5 Factors When Choosing a Fine European Piano

Choosing The Best Option

A point to note:

In this discussion, I am focusing solely on pianos that originate from Europe. I am not considering pianos that are merely finished in Europe. The pianos I am comparing are ones that are completely manufactured in Europe, without any subpar parts or construction, and without any substandard manufacturing procedures.

I want to emphasize that the pianos I am discussing are authentically European. They are not “hybrid” comparisons, where parts are sourced globally or assembled from various places. These pianos are proudly made in Europe by skilled Europeans.

It is important to note that there are several brands that claim the “Made in Germany” or “Made in Europe” tags, but they are simply not authentic. This is a source of frustration for me because salespeople often use misleading tactics to deceive buyers into thinking they are purchasing a European piano. My information comes straight from PianoBuyer.com, a reliable source that provides current pricing and specifications.

I just read an article where a particular manufacturer was extolling the virtues of European products, but everything in their offerings are made in China.  This is when I feel that it is misleading to the average consumer who knows little or nothing about purchasing a European piano.

Consider the price of your instrument and plan your budget accordingly.

It all comes down to whether you prefer an upright or grand piano. Of course, the grand piano will be considerably more expensive compared to the upright. However, depending on your expectations, opting for an upright may actually be a smarter choice in some situations.

If you’re looking for excellent performance, high-quality sound, and a satisfying touch, but your budget doesn’t allow for a grand piano, then you need to consider what matters most to you. When considering the budget for an upright piano, keep in mind that the starting price for a 48″ or 12/121 model from 12 different brands averages around $40,000. In our comparison, the lowest price we found was $29,000, while the highest reached $83,000.

In simpler terms, you can anticipate spending around $35,000 or more for most European brands. If you’re contemplating purchasing a grand piano, the average cost would be approximately $90,000. This data was obtained from a comparison of 14 brand names spanning a price range of $67,000 to $150,000.

It’s important to note that these prices exclusively include 100% European parts and assembly, without any involvement of Asian parts or assembly. Rest assured, these prices are based on reputable companies that I can confidently trust to be honest about their origins.

Sometimes a really fine upright is better than a less desirable grand.

Steingraeber - Germany

Fallboard of Steingraeber 128 upright piano

I have had the pleasure of playing many incredible upright pianos, to the point where I would actually prefer them over an average grand piano. When you’re in the market for a Fine European Piano, it’s important to keep in mind that the sound and touch of a top-notch upright are truly captivating.

The sound is the main aspect that most people prioritize when choosing a piano. Therefore, consider the fact that the soundboard and the longest bass string on a great quality upright are actually larger than those on a smaller grand piano. With this in mind, it’s easy to understand why I would make the bold statement that sometimes owning an upright is better than owning a grand.

That’s why I suggest taking a moment to consider a fine upright before settling for a lower quality grand piano. Of course, it may be hard to comprehend at first, but that’s the reality. However, if you have the budget for a high-end instrument, then investing in a grand piano priced in the higher 5 figure range is the answer you’re looking for.

Like an automobile you have to consider a little more service.

A crucial aspect often overlooked is the ongoing maintenance and care needed for a Fine European Piano. Generally speaking, a regular piano can hold up fairly well for a year without any servicing.

However, personally, I would never let it go beyond a year without service, although many people do get their pianos serviced once a year without any issues. Most technicians would agree that twice a year is the ideal frequency, but I firmly believe that having it serviced at least once a year is acceptable. Nevertheless, when it comes to a Fine European Piano, it should be serviced no less than twice a year.

I view this as akin to owning a European automobile, which simply requires a bit more maintenance.

The stringent specifications of fine pianos make it more susceptible to going out of tune and regulation compared to mass-produced pianos. For instance, in fine European pianos, the allowances for measurement variations may only be 1-2 millimeters, while in production pianos, it could be as wide as 1/8th of an inch. This shows just how precise the specifications are.

Additionally, it is important to carefully consider the effects of humidity and temperature changes on the piano.

What Exactly Are You Expecting

Great Piano Technician

Piano Technician

There are individuals who have made the decision to acquire a breathtaking musical instrument that will perfectly complement their home, even if they do not play it themselves. On the other hand, there are those who dedicate hours each day to playing music.

Some are beginners and just seek an instrument that will suffice, while others possess impeccable pitch and desire nothing less than perfection in sound resonating throughout their abode. Occasionally, helping people can prove to be quite challenging, especially when they lack knowledge about Fine European Pianos.

It is quite common to come across individuals who have not done their due diligence in research and are unaware of the cost and criteria one should consider when purchasing a piano.

I love guiding people on their piano journey, helping them understand exactly what they’re seeking and assisting them in articulating their preferences. When it comes to Fine European Pianos, I set my expectations sky high, aiming for perfection. I crave a crystal-clear tone and a touch that puts me in complete command. Based on my experience, this is where European pianos truly shine.

They tend to be more pristine, exuding a vibrant sound and offering a seamless playing experience compared to their American or Asian counterparts. So, ultimately, it’s crucial to delve deep within yourself to uncover your personal expectations. Only then can you truly appreciate and explore the wonders of Fine European Pianos, finding the perfect match for your musical expression.

Sound And Performance

European pianos are typically sent to dealers in impeccable condition, without requiring any additional fine tuning or concert regulation. Based on my personal experience with brands like Steingraeber, Grotrian, Estonia, Wilh. Steinberg, Bechstein, Sauter, and others, I have never come across a Fine European Piano that needs extensive work upon delivery. This has held true for the past 40 years of my career.

European craftsmen approach their craft with a mindset that these pianos are a reflection of themselves, and they aim to deliver nothing short of perfection. Their dedication and attention to detail are truly commendable.

From my own personal experience, I can confidently say that European companies have consistently provided me with nothing short of exceptional service. When it comes to Fine European Pianos, you can expect a remarkably pristine and crystal-clear sound. Unlike Asian pianos, they possess a more refined and delicate touch, and they are slimmer in comparison to American pianos. However, it’s important to remember that preferences vary.

Some individuals may favor the captivating tones of Baldwin, Mason and Hamlin, or Steinway pianos. But let’s not forget, there is no right or wrong answer here, just different tastes. In fact, I’ve had customers who have found themselves enchanted by the sounds produced by Yamaha or Kawai pianos, even surpassing their admiration for American or European alternatives.

R. Kassman Piano

At the end of the day what you feel is that you have done your homework and research, you know what you are looking for and how much you are willing to spend

R. Kassman Piano The Best Piano Store In The Bay Area

The Best Piano Store In The Bay Area

for it and what makes you feel good when you sit down to play.

Please know that Ric Overton is happy to help you in any way I can on your piano journey.  R. Kassman Piano has been committed to making Fine European Pianos the center and focus of our business.  We work to make our store the best piano store in the Bay Area. We welcome any inquiry and happy to help.

Ric Overton